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Photo: Ofer Amram
Sneh - lives in a dangerous area
Photo: Ofer Amram
Syria arming intensely, minister says
Deputy Defense Minister discusses Israel's regional situation with American Jewish Committee, also cites positive potential changes in region
WASHINGTON: Syria is arming intensively, warned Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, Thursday. Nonetheless, he praised a recent meeting between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Syrian Foreign Secretary Walid Moallem at a conference in Egypt.

 

Sneh, speaking at the American Jewish Committee conference in Washington, said it was good news that Syria is choosing to play a central role in the politics of the Middle East.

 

Sneh also spoke of Iran as a catalyst for change in the Middle East, positing that the threat of a strengthen Iranian regime could push moderate Arab nations into a coalition with Israel.

 

He cited a so-called Arab Quartet, made up of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and spoke optimistically about the Arab Summit peace initiative as a positive gesture that indicates a changing environment.

 

However, the deputy defense minister also told conference participants that the Middle East had become a dangerous place to live.

 

Iran is closer than ever to getting nuclear weapons and Syria is arming intensely, buying weapons from Russia at an unprecedented rate, he said.

 

Hamas is growing stronger within the Palestinian Authority, and threatening negotiations and potential agreements between Israel and the PA, he added.

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